Friday, November 23, 2007

where the rivers freeze, and the summer ends

Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline...

I went for a long walk this morning. November is a strange time of change here in Minnesota; the first half of the month I just want to huddle in front of a warm fire, then gradually I come out of my shell and take on the below freezing temperatures and the howling winds.

Please see she has a coat so warm...

I still have to get our serious winter gear out of storage bins in the garage. I was a bit under dressed for my walk, but I survived. Even ran a little. It was good to get out and breathe fresh air and feel my body move. And have some time to myself where I could just get lost in movement and the air around me.

I was greeted this morning by a redhead on the large dead spruce that is just outside my window. I have been seeing lots of Pileated woodpeckers, they are actually pretty common around here, but their size and red crest just leaves me in awe every time I see one.

And we were visited by as many as a dozen chickadees at a time at the feeder. Since they see chickadees at Hawk Ridge in Duluth, I assume some of them must migrate from areas further north. I really don't think our resident population is this huge! I've already gone through one 50 pound bag of black oil sunflower, and it's not even winter yet.

We had to get out today, so I drove The Hermit and Starflower and Mr. Attitude (Calvin was at a friend's house) to Duluth, where we ate at McDonald's (I even had a double cheeseburger-yikes!) and did a little grocery shopping and booze shopping in Wisconsin. :) We drove over the two high bridges over Duluth Harbor and saw a few ships. It was partly sunny for a change, and it was nice to be driving around, although I'm not used to being the driver. Just one of the many changes in our lives recently.

On our drive we saw a robin (late for here), a turkey vulture (ditto), and one bald eagle. There are places in Duluth where I could have seen some rare gull species, but I didn't get to them today. Unless a rare gull shows up in the Super One Market parking lot in West Duluth, I have little chance of seeing it.

(song quotes from a native Duluthian, Bob Dylan of course. )


RuthieJ said...

Sounds like a nice day, Deb....glad you were able to get the family out for a trip.

eric said...

Hey Deb - I always superstitiously consider a Pileated Woodpecker crossing my path as an omen of good luck - like the opposite of a black cat. ;-)

Also, this year the Pine Grosbeaks stripped my ash trees while no one was home. Bah! It's nice that you caught some at your feeder. Take care.

MojoMan said...

Could you be the "one who lives there"?

Lynne said...

Your description of November is spot on for me too. The sun's out here today which is like medicine for my attitude. I don't mind the transition of November, the nesting urge takes over, but the lack of sun does get to me. Sounds like your afternoon out was a good one.

robin andrea said...

We left Port Townsend for the central coast of CA in late October to get away from the deep unrelenting darkness of winter. But here in Santa Cruz we don't see eagles or pileated woodpeckers. There are always trade-offs. We have high 60s temps and sunlight that bakes deep into our bones.

I am doing all the heavy lifting and driving these days too. Roger is on very heavy-duty pain medication, so no operation of heavy machinery for him, doctor's orders. Lives can change so quickly sometimes, it takes our breath away.

I hope you're wearing a coat so warm, to keep you from the howling winds.

Deb said...

RuthieJ- It was nice to get out.

Eric- I consider them to be a lucky sign too! Those and bald eagles.

Mojoman- For some reason, in these days of November that song has been on my mind.

Lynne- Today when the sun came out, it made a huge difference in both mine and The Hermit's attitudes. And attitude is critical these days.

Robin Andrea- I was surprised when I checked in to your blog the other day and heard about Roger- good he's on the mend!

I got out my long wool Indian blanket pattern coat today. :)

Anonymous said...

Slow down and only do the things that truly need doing. The kids will pitch in when asked, or bribed. It makes them feel as though they are helping in a time of family need too. Don't keep them out of the loop. Ask them what they think they can do to help out. You'll be surprised at how much they can actually do. Even if it's feeding the rabbits. At least you don't have to feed the rabbits! As far as getting ready for winter, I enjoy it. I think of it as my own little battle against winter. Heavy coat, heavy gloves, long scarf, warm socks, warm boots. Let Mother Nature do her best! I can ward her off and do it outside in her element! If I can go outside and take a walk in the winter, no matter what the weather, I win! Winter loses! Take that Mother Nature!